The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that Keith F. Higgins, Director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, plans to leave the SEC in early January.
Since joining the SEC in June 2013, Mr. Higgins led the Division’s implementation of significant rulemaking and other responsibilities under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act), and Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act). He also oversaw the Division’s program to review the securities filings of thousands of issuers each year to facilitate capital formation and ensure that investors receive full and fair disclosure about the public companies in which they invest, and guided the Division’s efforts to provide interpretive advice to market participants about their obligations under the federal securities laws.
Keith has brought tremendous energy and expertise to the Division of Corporation Finance’s mission to protect investors and facilitate capital formation,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White. “He led our extensive rulemaking efforts and has charted a course to make our disclosure system more effective for investors and companies.
Mr. Higgins commented:
It has been an honor to serve under Chair White and to have led the Division of Corporation Finance’s talented and committed staff. I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish to enhance the agency’s disclosure program, protect investors, and promote capital formation. I will always be grateful for this experience.
As Director, Mr. Higgins directed the Division’s disclosure effectiveness project. The goal of this initiative is to comprehensively review the Commission’s disclosure requirements and make recommendations on how to update them to facilitate timely, material, and more meaningful disclosure by companies to their shareholders. The initiative has already led to a number of notable products, including:
- Commission issuance of a concept release seeking public input on modernizing the business and financial disclosure requirements in Regulation S-K
- Request for comment on revisions to certain financial reporting and disclosure requirements under Regulation S‑X
- Proposing release to modernize property disclosures for mining registrants
- Proposing release to eliminate redundant and outdated disclosure requirements
- Proposing release to require hyperlinks to exhibits in filings
Mr. Higgins also oversaw the completion of all rulemakings directed by the JOBS Act, including adoption of final rules to:
- Allow general solicitation and general advertising for offers made under Rule 506
- Increase access to capital for smaller companies under Regulation A
- Permit companies to offer and sell securities through securities-based crowdfunding
Upon Mr. Higgins’ departure, Shelley Parratt, Deputy Director for the Division of Corporation Finance, will become the acting Director. Ms. Parratt has served previously as acting Director.
Ms. Parratt has served as Deputy Director of the Division since 2003, and has been responsible for assisting in strategic planning and developing Division policies and procedures and overseeing the disclosure review program.